Better Games Together

As gamemakers, our mission has always been to create unforgettable experiences that entertain, bring joy and connect people with each other. We believe that striving towards a diverse, inclusive and equal representation amongst our industry, teams and games, brings us closer to that goal and enables us to make Better Games, Together. 

We want our companies to be workplaces where everyone can feel heard, valued, supported, and celebrated, as they are. That’s why Metacore, Next Games, Supercell, and the non-profit We In Games, have joined forces to build deeper connections between our industry and the LGBTQIA+ community. We have partnered with Helsinki Pride collectively because we believe that working together, we can do more, learn more and support this community more effectively.

We are fully aware that there’s still a lot of work to do, but after listening to our LGBTQIA+ community, we felt this was a step in the right direction. 

What does Better Games Together actually mean? For us, it means the following: 

1. Our Companies

We are striving towards inclusion and belonging within our own companies. For us that work has begun with, for example, educating ourselves on our blind spots and creating a shared understanding through training on topics such as allyship, inclusive language and non-binary genders, as well as safe working environments for LGBTQIA+ people.

2. Our Industry

We want to create a more inclusive industry. For that, we need to work together, share best practices and learn from the community, as well as each other. We believe that by working together and bringing more diverse voices into the industry and onto our teams, we can create a more inclusive working culture and stronger game experiences for our players. 

We hope this is just the beginning of a long-term collaboration and we warmly welcome other games companies and organizations to join us.

Helsinki Pride Month is celebrated in June 2022, and it will culminate in the Pride Parade on July 2nd.

Taina Myöhänen is the Power Player of the Year 2021

Taina Myöhänen giving a speech at the Finnish Game Awards 2022 after receiving the award. Picture by Katariina Salmi

Our president Taina Myöhänen received The Power Player of the Year award at the Finnish Game Awards 2022. This award is given for a significant contribution to the industry; Myöhänen got that from the work done for diversity and inclusion in the games industry.

“This award is not only for me, but for all of us working for DEI in the games industry. Our work matters. It is also a strong statement that DEI issues are seen important in the Finnish game industry”, summarises Myöhänen the award.

The award ceremony was held on 25th May 2022 at ravintola Töölö, in Helsinki. The gala celebrations stream recording can be viewed at https://youtu.be/imzk4dVRuE0.

Neogames’ official announcement of the winners: https://neogames.fi/fga22winners/.

The WiGFi board responsibilities and practicalities

What is the board?

During the term 2020-2021, the board of We in Games Finland has had the president, eight board members and two deputy board members. The board can have two to eight members, and up to eight deputy members. The members are elected at the annual meeting. The term for the board members is two years, and for deputy members one year. Board members can also resign after one year, in which case a new member can be elected to their place in the annual meeting. The board is the entity that handles the association’s affairs. 

What do the board members do?

The president leads the board meetings, looks after the board, volunteers and the organisation as a whole, and in 2020-2021 the president has also actively participated in activities and discussions promoting diversity and inclusion in the game industry and society. The board needs to have a vice-president, secretary and a treasurer. The secretary handles all the practicalities regarding meetings: preparing the agenda together with the board, sending meeting invitations for board members, writes the meeting minutes and handles any space or equipment needed for having the meetings. The treasurer takes care of the financials of the organisation, paying bills when needed and manages the organisation’s bank account. For 2021-2022 Essi and Anna will continue in these roles. The vice president has been in charge of membership issues, internal communications, and has also been participating in discussions with our partners as well as running projects. The vice-president takes the responsibilities of the president, when the president is unavailable. 

In general, board members can quite freely choose what topics they focus on. As WiGFi has organised a lot of events before the pandemic, an events coordinator is a position we wish to have in the board every year. Other than that, any role can be suggested for the board. In 2020-2021 we have had two board members focusing on event processes and organising, one board member leading external communications, social media and diversity work, and two other board members who have been focusing on different projects and collaborations like the speaker list, UNICEF, LGIN etc. The two deputy members have been helping the board members with certain matters and they have also organised some things based on their interests. 

What are the responsibilities of board members? What about deputy board members? What does this mean in practice?

The board members and deputy board members are invited to attend the board meetings approximately every month. At least half of the board members need to be present in the meeting so that a quorum is present, i.e. the decisions made in the meeting are valid. If there are not enough board members, deputy board members can be invited to act in the place of the absent board members to reach quorum. Attending the meetings is very important as the decisions about the organisation’s affairs are done only in board meetings. The meetings last usually one to two hours, and the attendees are expected to read about the matters on the agenda beforehand. 

In addition to the meetings the board members work in smaller groups, or by themselves, to advance the topics they are responsible for. This workload varies a lot monthly based on the projects and responsibilities, but the board and the president are actively looking out for each other so no one has too many responsibilities on their plate.

The board members, deputy board members and volunteers communicate on Slack, so following and taking part in those discussions on a regular basis is highly recommended for all board members. 

Keeping track of your tasks, attending meetings and collaborating are the three most important things a board member needs to do. The association has to follow its rules and the association law, but you do not need to be familiar with these beforehand, the more experienced board members will help in any matters regarding the official business. The board works on topics the association members feel are important, and follows the members’ opinion in their decision making. All the work that the board members do is voluntary, so everyone, with even the smallest ideas to take forward, is warmly invited to join the board. No work done is too small and every little step takes the organisation forward!

Notes about WIGFI vision and values

We in Games Finland’s board accepted and published WIGFI’s vision and values at the beginning of this year. They can be found here:

Our vision and values are not set in stone; on the contrary. We want them to stay up-to-date and to reflect the variety within our organization and the Finnish game industry. If you have any feedback for our vision and values, please send a message to me or use any of our channels that best suit you

Two years of making  

Drafting our vision and values started at the end of the first operational year of WIGFI. In December’s board meeting, the board 2019 summarised thoughts and experiences from the first year, wrote them on post-it notes, and tagged a wall full of post-its. Then these ideas were left to rest.

Why? WIGFI is not a homogeneous group. We are diverse in so many ways: we identify as women, non-binary, men, students, professionals, C-level people, parents, singles, entrepreneurs, persons with disabilities, persons of color; we have different religious views, sexual orientations, generational experiences, and we come from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. We can be many of these at the same time and even more that were not listed here. We unite in diversity – and in the fact that we are interested in making video games.

So it is possible, even quite likely, that when a small group of people representing many collects what we are and what we want to be, something might be missing. The very nature of diversity is to realise that your worldview is not shared by everyone. Giving ideas a bit more time, discussing them with many, and publicly asking an opinion can help to make the outcome better.

Listening and communications is <3 of what we do

Because of the diverse nature of our members, our experiences vary a lot. When some people might feel that there is nothing negative in a given situation, someone else might find the situation overwhelming. Nobody is wrong. The experience is different.

What would be wrong in a given situation would be to say “there wasn’t anything negative in that situation”. We can’t deny other people’s experiences. But neither can we deny other’s opinions. 

We are strong supporters of open discussion in our forums, as we believe that communication is the only way to understand others. We want you to share knowledge, listen, inspire, encourage, and to help others.

Following that, we are strong supporters of the possibility to disagree. If you feel that the opinion someone has presented is not quite right, you have all the right to say it aloud on our channel. 

But we hope for civilised discussions in our channels and events. There are plenty of ways to disagree, and we urge you to find a constructive way. It is very likely that the angry or uncompromising words will echo back. In our word, none of us is more important than the other. There is no need to find consensus, but there is a strong need to accept that others have different opinions.

We are the organisation our members want this to be

Our members make us what we are. In our annual meeting, our members define the focus areas for the next year. But everything we do is based on the ideas from our active members who are willing to work for the things they see important. So if you feel WIGFI is not doing the right thing: come to our annual meeting, raise your voice, and join our activist making this little corner of the world a little bit better place.

Questions and Answers about Finnish Labour Laws for Game Developers in Finland

This blog post is done in collaboration with Game Makers of Finland.

Earlier this autumn, We in Games Finland, Game Makers of Finland, and IGDA Helsinki collaborated in organising an online talk on the labour laws in Finland and the rights of employees. The event was specifically targeted to games industry employees.

This blog post includes questions sent anonymously for the event and after that. These questions cover some typical cases discussed in the games industry, so we believe that the answers will benefit all.

Answers are written by Maria Jauhiainen, lawyer and social impact specialist from Insinööriliitto. Please note that as the cases may vary, it is advisable to contact asiakaspalvelu@ilry.fi for further advice in the event of a dispute. 

As IPR rights are an important part of the games industry, there will be a separate post about IPR rights coming up!


Q: Can I download the slides?

A: Yes, totally. And I hope you got them already 🙂 (Editor’s note: slides of the Labor Law event can be found from here.)


Q: Can an employer intervene in an employee’s leisure activities, for example, if a person wants to stream their play? Or make their own game with own computer and or programs?

A: In principle not (the employer cannot intervene, that is), but there can be some limitations. A person cannot engage in anything that would compete with the employer’s activities or how the company makes money or harm the company in any way. Anything else is in principle – like said – allowed, but for that, you cannot use the company’s devices, ideas you sort of get from the company, your working time, or the company’s programs for this unless you get permission from the company.


Q: What are the employee’s rights to his/her own idea or artistic work (like graphic art)? What is a fair agreement for all parties on the use and rights of this work?

A: This is quite a complex question, but in principle, the work that you do in order to fulfill your working duties, the result of your work – all the results of your work – will belong to your employer. The rights that will remain with the employee are the so-called fatherhood right (to have your name mentioned in connection with the work) and the right that the work is not changed without your permission. The right to use the work for commercial purposes and to disseminate it belong to the employer. If the work has been done without an actual connection to one’s working duties and if you have not gotten “inspiration” for it from fulfilling your working duties, then the chances of it belonging wholly to you, are greater. There will be a separate post about IPR rights coming up!


Q: Non-competition agreements: Are they even legal in Finland for non-executive positions?

A: Unfortunately, yes. They usually rule out only shop-floor level/blue collar workers, and if you do something a little bit “brainy” work where you are involved in the company’s core work and that you get to hear the company’s trade and business secrets, it’s very likely to be legal in your case.


Q: If you are on unpaid leave (lomautettu) for over 6 months, can you disregard your 6-month non-competition agreement and start at another company immediately?

A: After the 200 days of furlough (laid-off) and if you are let go by the company or if you resign yourself, that is true: the non-competition agreement doesn’t apply to you anymore.


Q: If I have a fixed-term contract first (6months) after which I get an open-ended contract immediately, do I still need to go through the probation period?

A: No. Once is enough for one employment and for the same tasks.


Q: Quite many game companies in Finland are co-founded by a bunch of friends, how does union serve entrepreneurs – and does it at all? Or what is your suggestion for the entrepreneurs where they should get the support if/when needed?

A: Yes, we do serve entrepreneurs! Just send your questions to our Customer Service asiakaspalvelu@ilry.fi, and we will try and find you all the answers you need.


Q: What if, due to lack of resources, I am asked to take up other responsibilities in addition? Do I really need to have an addendum to my contract? What if initially asked temporary, but they become a more permanent part of my working day? Can you be let go off if refusing to take up responsibilities initially not mentioned in your contract?

A: My advice would be to make a temporary agreement about the new duties and yes, write them all down. And temporary so that it will start and end, especially if the employer just tells you “to fill in for a little while” without extra payment. And make it clear to the employer that if the extra tasks become a permanent part of your working duty, they also have to pay you more. In that case, you can also call our Customer Service (see contact info below) and ask them to connect you to our salary advisors as to how much more you would deserve extra money for the new tasks. But if you start doing the new tasks without anything written about above and you have been doing the work for a long while and then refuse to do them anymore, then yes, you can end up in trouble with the employer. Since refusing to do your work can be seen as a big neglect on employee’s part in the eyes of the law.


Q: I don’t live near Helsinki. If I have to move to Helsinki area because of my work, do I have a right to a better salary because of the increased cost of living, or am I meant to just suck it up?

A: Unfortunately, there is no direct right, but it can be used as a powerful negotiation tool, because where you live or have to live will have a big effect on your living costs. The best way is to call our Customer Service first and ask them to connect you to our salary advisors so you can come up with a precise sum of what to ask for when negotiating about the move with the employer.


Q: How well all of these Finnish laws transfer to other EU/non-EU countries?

A: Sadly, mainly only to the other Nordic Countries, not elsewhere. The employment laws are at their best in the North of Europe.


Q: When you say that the collective agreements usually give better benefits for employees, could you make sure you also mention that most game studios give much better benefits than any collective agreement to their employees?

A: I will remember to do that 🙂


Q: There are many creative artists working in the games industry. Part of an employment contract should mention Intellectual property. However, many people are uncertain of their rights in this area. This is especially relevant as the EU Digital Single Market Copyright Directive comes to force. Can you confirm that it is actually the employee who is first owner of copyright in an employment relationship and there is no regulation in the copyright act that compels an employee to give up complete ownership of their copyrights (exceptions to software).

A: Unfortunately, I cannot.

There will be a separate post about IPR rights coming shortly.


Q: In Finland it is common for firms to exploit loopholes in the law and hire professionals under “työharjoittelu” agreements (work-based training). This is where they can exploit professionals who are job seekers trying to get a ‘foot in the door.’ Can you confirm that it is illegal to commercially exploit creative work made by an “intern” who is actually receiving benefits from Kela rather than wages or other remuneration.

A: This is a little bit tricky, since the companies can get people who fulfill the requirements for työharjoittelu or työkokeilu and it’s legal unless otherwise proven. We are aware of some exploitation happening there, but since it’s Kela and the employer involved in this equation, the real exploitation cases seldom reach our ears. My best advice is to contact Kela if it’s obvious that the employer is just making improper use of the system without any real intention of hiring these people afterwards. When you let Kela know, it is more likely that the company will not get the subsidized trainees anymore.

But combining this question and the previous question, there is one major difference related to internship:

The intellectual property rights apply when the work has been accomplished in a working relationship, meaning when the employer actually pays the employee money. In an internship, the money is coming from Kela in this case, so all the (copy)rights will remain with the maker.


Q: I work in a game industry company, and my work contract is a full-time and fixed term. The employer made my full-time work to part-time in the middle of my fixed-term contract, based on financial and production-related grounds. At the same time, the employer has hired other employees, full-time and part-time, also for the same and similar tasks that I do.

The employer has emphasized that the change is not a lay-off but a permanent part-time job. No other employees will be changed to part-time or laid off. The employer has also emphasized that I have not been offered or will be offered any other job and no job other than this part-time job is available.

Thus, my working time has been reduced from full-time to part-time, which has a significant impact on my livelihood, but the employer has hired other employees at the same time. Since the contract is fixed-term, I have been under the impression that the employer must provide work until the end of the contract, and offer the other possible vacancies for fixed-term employers before the others.

Has the employer violated the Employment Contracts Act or the information sector’s collective agreement, and if so, what are the consequences? How are such violations generally monitored? For example, by Game Makers? What rights do I have as an employee?

A: The essential terms of the employment relationship may only be changed while the ground for dismissal is in force and therefore instead of and as an alternative to dismissal. Substantial change means, in particular, changes in working hours and pay, both of which are realized for you here. A fixed-term employment contract may not be terminated at all, unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract; of course, a mere mention of the period of notice which the employer must also comply with in the case of a change before the change enters into force is sufficient. And by law, there is no ground for dismissal if a new person has been hired or is hired after the dismissal procedure for work that the person could do. In addition, the employer must, in accordance with the law, offer a person working part-time, if he or she so wishes, more jobs if they occur. In other words, it would seem that there are matters that need to be settled with your employer.

On 1.4.2020, some changes in the law came into force on a temporary basis. According to these changes, the employment relationship can now also be terminated during the probationary period based on financial and production-related grounds if those actually exist. Normally this cannot be done. The employer cannot rely on this directly in your case either, because there have been and then apparently still is jobs.

In these kinds of matter, please contact our customer service (customerservice@ilry.fi) or directly to me (maria.jauhiainen@ilry.fi), and we will find out more and contact the employer if necessary.


Q: What are the employee’s rights to his / her own idea / artistic work (eg graphic artists)? What is a fair agreement for all parties on the use and rights of these works?

A: In these cases, the contract options are quite limited, although of course there are some contract options. In the case of a computer program and / or a database, there are no contractual possibilities, and in other cases, the commercial rights to the work (ie the right to make copies of the product and to place them on the market and for sale) always belong to the employer, but in principle – again for non-computer programs – right to modify and right to forward can be separately agreed. Moral rights, the parenthood right and the right of respect, always remain with the employee.

Take a closer look to our upcoming blog post about the IPRs, and contact us for a possible agreement!


These questions were answered by Maria Jauhiainen, lawyer and social impact specialist from Insinööriliitto. For further inquiries, contact asiakaspalvelu@ilry.fi or have a look for Game Makers of Finland’s website.

Working in the Finnish Game Industry

Game Makers of Finland, the official protector of Peliviikko, published game week related video series on YouTube. It shares narratives from people working in the Finnish game industry.

This year’s Peliviikko (Game Week) was held on November 9. – 15. Peliviikko raises gaming-related themes to public debate and aims to spread knowledge of the industry itself. Finland is full of talents, who all have their personal story to tell.

What it is like to work in games?

Problems and difficulties have been a strong focus of the debate when it comes to gaming industry and the individuals working there. Many see the position of women and other gender minorities as extremely challenging. Fortunately, we also have numerous positive stories colored by the warm experiences of solidarity and equality. Therefore, it’s important to hear different kind of narratives from industry professionals in the eye of the action.

Working in the game industry video series by Game Makers of Finland. Speakers on videos.
Working in the Game Industry video series by Game Makers of Finland.

Working in the game industry video series bring up the voices of different people. It dives into their diverse experiences, elaborating what it is like to work in the field.

Five different professionals share their stories

Working in the Game Industry playlist introduces five professionals and their career stories. Barbara Leal, Game Developer (Playsome), Minna Eloranta, CEO (Boom Corp), Marko Laine, Game Artist (Veikkaus), Sari Lindberg, Talent Acquisition Lead (Remedy) and Jyri Kuokka, Game Designer (Rovio) offer a peek behind the scenes. Game Makers of Finland produced this video series in co-operation with National Audiovisual Institute.

We in Games Finland’s board member Barbara Leal works as a Game Designer at Playsome. Besides telling her story, she shares tips on how to reach your dream of working in games.

Working in the Game Industry – Barbara Leal, Playsome

Minna Eloranta is the CEO of a fresh company , Boom Corp. Minna talks about her own path from a game enthusiast to a game developer.

Working in the Game Industry – Minna Eloranta, Boom Corp

Discord Tea Time: Casual voice chat every weekday

The need that we noticed

Since working from home became the new normal, most of us have started to miss the casual discussions at the workplace and just being around other people. Some of us started to feel lonely, or like we haven’t used our voice at all during the day. Simple “water cooler talk” started missing from our lives. Even as little as computer noises from others.

We created the Tea Time chat in Discord as a low-effort way to talk to other people and feel less alone in these times. In the afternoon, some time around 14.30 EET we join the Tea Time voice channel and chat about various things. There’s no rules, you can come and go whenever you want and discuss whatever you like! Sometimes the chat goes on for hours (once or twice until after 19:00 XD), so just check in the afternoon to see if we’re still there, we might 🙂

Why should I join?

One great experience we have had during the Tea Time was that, for example, we started talking about professional development and progress. One participant was struggling with figuring out exactly what they want to do in the Industry when they graduate. Others started talking about how they got to where they are now and talking about how their career path is not necessarily a straight line. We loved hearing that this conversation helped share a light into what the future in the Industry may look like for different people. It comes in all shapes and colors, and what works for one can be different for someone else. Sharing with others is a great way to bond and find what works for oneself.

Another great thing which happens on the side is: We get to practice speaking in English! Some of us can practice diction and eloquence, tone of voice and also practice delivering lines without telling so many side stories in between. 

For some people it’s a good way to focus on work if you have issues from working at home. It can give you some structure to your day or the break you always forget to take otherwise! Talking about your work can also make you feel more confident in what you’re doing or if you’re fighting a difficult bug, taking a break with other people might help you get some new ideas.

How does it work?

At around 14:30 EET every weekday anyone can tag @TeaTime on the #text channel (Located on the Voice Channel category) and “summon” the rest of us. Because we all are working or studying, sometimes we need the little nudge from someone to start it up.

To be pinged automatically for Tea Time, you can go to the #rules channel and react with the Tea emoji on the message to be awarded the role.

Everyone is of course welcome to come and go as they want or need. Talk or just listen! As much or as little as you see fit. So please do come and join us in Discord: https://discord.gg/Q2YmW4k

Have an idea of other activities we could do online? Let us know!

Authors: Barbara and Essi.

Labour laws in Finland for the Game Makers

On 15th September 2020, We in Games Finland, Game Makers of Finland, and IGDA Helsinki collaborated in organising an online talk on the labour laws in Finland and the rights of employees.

The speaker at the event was the lawyer and social impact specialist Maria Jauhiainen from Insinööriliitto (in the picture above).

The following topics were covered and discussed:

  • what could be and should be in your employment contract,
  • what is a trial period,
  • what should you agree on or not agree on a non-competition agreement,
  • how and on what grounds you can be temporarily laid-off,
  • on what grounds you can and cannot be legally laid-off,
  • how working hours are regulated and how do you gain annual holidays.

Maria Jauhiainen was kind enough to share her presentation. You may find the presentation here:

The event was recorded and can be found on IGDA Finland’s Twitch:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/741769577

Questions related to the topic were collected before and after the event. Have a look for the important questions and their answers here: “Questions and Answers about Finnish Labour Laws for Game Developers in Finland”.